EARL TWP., Pa. - A Berks County woman called police on her husband after he threw the family's dog against the wall and then killed it with an ax, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
Joshua Leneweaver, 41, of Earl Township, was jailed Monday on animal cruelty charges after telling his wife the night before that there was "no more Pip," according to the affidavit of probable cause.
"He told her that he was trying to get the dog to go outside," said PSP Trooper David Beohm, a public information officer for Reading-based Troop L. "The dog wouldn't go outside. He reached under the table, and the dog bit him. He threw the dog against the wall."
Then, realizing that the dog was badly injured, Leneweaver grabbed an ax and killed the dog, according to the court papers.
Leneweaver's wife was at work at the time. When she got home and asked where the dog was, she said her husband told her to wait until the children were in bed and he would tell her then, police said.
Leneweaver's wife called for police to respond to the home Monday night.
"We found the ax in a detached garage," Beohm said. "It had some blood and hair on it, and then we found a garbage can where the deceased dog was in a plastic bag in the garbage can."
Leneweaver was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals-torture and cruelty to animals.
"It's a very cruel thing to do to a dog... You're that mad that you would do that to an animal is crazy," Beohm said. "It's a felony. I know that."
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Savannah Baller, a humane officer with the Animal Rescue League of Berks County in Cumru Township, said this type of situation is exactly why, in 2017, Pennsylvania adopted "Libre's Law," named for an abused puppy that was found left for dead in a kennel in Lancaster County in 2016.
"It changed a lot," Baller said. "Before Libre's Law was in effect, there was actually no Section 5534, which is aggravated animal cruelty. People were charged under what was 5511, and it basically was a slap on the wrist. It was misdemeanor charges."
Leneweaver was committed to the Berks County Jail on $2,500 bail.